Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Future BYU Quarterbacks

If BYU football is going to be successful in the coming years, they're going to have to develop a better quarterback system. They can't just keep pumping out QBs left and right, trying different guys in different games (or sometimes in the same game), and hoping for the best. They have to STOP running stupid plays that get their quarterbacks injured. No BYU quarterback that began the season as a starter since 2009 has finished the year without having to sit out at least one game with an injury. We haven't had a truly reliable quarterback since Max Hall left 3 years ago. Riley Nelson and James Lark are graduating this year, so it will be a good chance for a new start . . . but what's next?

Taysom Hill
Hopefully the next big thing is Taysom Hill. He played a few games this year when Riley got injured, but on a useless play at the end of the Utah State game, he tore his LCL and had season-ending surgery. Thankfully, the damage ended up not being as bad as they originally thought from the MRI, so he is expected to be back and at least reasonably healthy in time for spring practice in 2013. So far, he is recovering well and keeping in high spirits. If he can stay out of trouble, I think he will bring great things to the BYU program over the next three years. However, it's not 100% up to him or his health. One of the reader comments on that Dick Harmon story I linked to above really caught my eye: 

"If Doman is allowed to continue as BYU's OC, he owes it to Hill to spend every second from now until BYU's first game in 2013 designing and learning how to coach a passing offense."

That totally hits the nail on the head. If Brandon Doman is still the offensive coordinator next year and he wants to continue in that position beyond next year, he's got to make some big changes. He can't run Taysom on every-other play. Even if Taysom is capable of it, he will probably be shaky coming into the 2013 season because of his injury, and we can't risk him getting hurt AGAIN. He can't become another injury-prone QB like Riley, or we're in BIG trouble. So take note, Doman-- you've got until spring to build a completely new plan around Taysom and a passing offense, or you're gonna have to go. They're also going to have to amp up recruiting and coaching on the offensive line-- they need to be able to protect the QB much better than they have the last few years.

So, knock on wood, Taysom will be at the helm for the next three years, culminating in the 2015 season (which I am still giddy with excitement about). But he'll need a few good back-ups, right? Enter Ammon Olsen and Jason Munns. We saw Munns a few times this year as the 4th-stringer behind Lark, but we know fairly little about either of them. Munns will be a senior next year and Olsen will be a Junior (he transferred from SUU, where he played in six games his freshman year in 2009, completing 8 of 14 passes for 115 yards and 2 TDs, plus 44 yards rushing on 10 carries). If Taysom goes down again (heaven forbid), one of them will have to step up and take charge.

Tanner Mangum, from
As for the future of BYU quarterbacks beyond the Taysom years, we'll probably turn to Billy Green and Tanner Mangum. Green is from Washington (he was discovered by Coach Doman on a Jake Heaps recruiting trip). Although he isn't LDS, he is a devout Christian and was attracted to the honor code and the school's values. Whether he is good enough to be a starting QB at BYU is yet to be determined. I'd give him maybe one year at the helm, but I think Tanner Mangum will pass him up after not too long. Mangum is on his mission right now (or at least I think he is. If he's not, he's leaving soon) and will return in time for the 2015 season (during which he should probably redshirt, since that will be Taysom's senior year). He is one of the hottest recruits in the country and he just looks like a football star (see photo at right for exhibit A)-- I'm not sure why, but I have a really strong feeling that he might be just what we need. How hard it will be to get to that point, though, I'm not sure.

To sum up, here's how the next 7 years could theoretically go:
2013: Taysom Hill, with backups Ammon Olsen and Jason Munns (Billy Green redshirts)
2014: Taysom Hill, with backups Ammon Olsen and Billy Green
2015: Taysom Hill, with backup Billy Green (Tanner Mangum redshirts)
2016: Billy Green, with backup Tanner Mangum (or possibly vise-versa-- could definitely switch mid-year)
2017: Tanner Mangum, with backup Billy Green
2018: Tanner Mangum, backups TBD
2019: Tanner Mangum, backups TBD

Maybe I'm just daring to dream. For this to become a reality and for BYU to become a dominant college football program again, they're going to need to make some changes. Bronco is going to have to put winning back at the top of his priority list. Right now, his priority is sharing the gospel-- which is a great goal, but it's not going to work when you have 7-5 seasons. They're going to have to start winning-- including tough games-- to get noticed. It's not going to be easy, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

No comments:

Post a Comment